academics

I am interested in much more than what is on my official resume. I have a voracious appetite for learning and have continued to pursue academic interests after college. I’ve taken a couple of MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) as well as maintained my media, culture and technology interests via my blog How We Watch. I have also co-authored two academic papers that have been presented at conferences with plans to publish.

In the coming years, I hope to either apply to one of the Ph.D. programs I’m interested in or to create my own self-guided study, likely housed on my blog, to pursue my topic(s) of choice.

Academic Papers
“Connecting Science to Advertising: How John B. Watson Laid the Foundation of Behavioral Targeting” (Previously titled “Behaviorism: Then and Now”)
Presented at the 2014 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Conference
Behaviorism as defined in 1913 by John B. Watson was a science that used repeated, observable human activity to develop hypotheses that would eventually predict and control responses. Through repeated experiments, Watson developed a thorough knowledge of what he defined as base human reactions. Stanley Resor, then president of J. Walter Thompson Agency, hired Watson to promote a partnership between advertising and science, and the subsequent 15 years of Watson’s career included some notable scientific contributions. This historical study shows that though these outcomes may not have provided many measurable positive results, they set into motion industry-wide change that continued to develop until the present. The study also argues that though behavioristic principles may not have found solid footing in a mass media environment, the current networked communication state provides much more fertile ground for analyzing message receivers and eliciting desired responses. This article is based on the J. Walter Thompson Company Archives (JWT) at the John Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising and Marketing History, Special Collections Library at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Distracted Driving: The Effect of Positively and Negatively Framed Prevention Messages on Drivers Who Text
Presented at the 2015 Western Decision Sciences Institute Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting
The purpose of this study was to investigate the motivations behind behavioral change in order to identify which use of message framing, positive or negative, is more effective in discouraging texting while driving behaviors among college students. The findings indicate that negatively-framed public health messages are not effective means of changing behavior, and they may in fact run the risk of encouraging the behaviors they wish to eradicate. In addition, the results from the positive cohort of precontemplators showed a significantly increased awareness of likelihood and risk for an accident and a significant decrease in the desire to stop texting while driving. This signifies that for those respondents who were not considering changing their behavior, after viewing the positively framed message they felt even less desire to change their behavior.

Completed MOOCs
Introduction to Communication Science // Passed with Distinction
University of Amsterdam

Introduction to Neuroeconomics: How the Brain Makes Decisions // Passed with Distinction
Higher School of Economics, National Research University

 

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